Greetings! I have a K24000 from the early stone age. Full suspension, old geometry but has worked for me. Took a couple of years off but want to get riding again more often. I’m in my early 50’s and in good shape. The problem is I can’t afford to spend $1000 plus on a new bike. Local shops say updated the components on the K2 not worth it. Not going to be racing just enjoying the ride and maybe getting the wife on trails too. Is there a decent 2-3 year old bike or frame I could watch for on Craigslist or bulletin boards that would be upgradeable to the 22nd century? I ride a lot of singletrack and am an aggresive rider for a geezer. Having trouble keeping up with or stopping with friends on new or even newer bikes. Any suggestions? Rode with a kid on a $15,000 bike the other day. Can’t do that. Have kids in college, a mortgage, etc. Thanks for your thoughts in advance. Ride on!
I’d second what tonkota suggested. It had been 10 years since I had been on a mountain bike this past January and I wasn’t sure if I was going to get back into it for sure or not but wanted something capable enough that it didn’t turn me off forever. My budget was around the $1000 not because it was all I had available but I didn’t want to spend $10,000 on something I wasn’t going get into. So the LBS cut me a crazy good deal on a 2014 Specialized Camber Comp 29 for $1600 because it was last years model. It was nearly twice my original budget but at this point it was completely worth it. I also found my Mom and Dad bikes that were a couple years old both for less than $800 both full suspension and basically brand new. One was a Santa Cruz the other a Trek. So to find a new bike that is 1 or two years old under that $1000 is definitely possible. Good luck on the search.
He says he can’t afford $1,000 plus on a bike and he rides aggressively so if he’s planning on staying full suspension, I’d suggest that the only way he’ll get a bike capable of withstanding the rigors is used on CL or classifieds. Any FS bike you can buy for less than 1k new will be heavy, equipped with entry level components and won’t withstand sustained aggressive riding.
Be on the lookout for any reputable brand and make sure it’s not one of the bargain-basement models that they sell. The forumgoers can usually let you know how good a deal is if you share a link to the ad.
You can get a "trail" style hardtail that will handle aggressive riding. They typically have stronger frames, more travel, and more relaxed geometry. The difficulty may be in finding one in your budget, as the trail HT bikes are on the newer side (as opposed to XC). Some to consider in that style are the Trek Stache series (I have one an love it), the Kona Trail, Giant Talon, Airborne Goblin or Seeker, etc. Definitely check for deals and see what you can come up with.